/ The Editor

Ask the Editor: Professional Style

A GE Profile oven

Courtesy of GE Profile

Is Professional Style on the Way Out?


Question: "We are in the process of replacing our 20-year-old double wall oven. We had selected a Pro-Style model by Jenn-Air with the heavy handles. Is this styling on the way out? I hate to replace and then find out that we are already outdated."

"Part of my concern is the trend toward integrating I see happening. The controls on dishwashers are now hidden. Refrigerators look like wardrobes. Islands are designed like furniture. Wolf has a double wall oven that rotates the controls to hide them completely from view. Everything with appliances is concealed or integrated with wood panels to disguise the 'kitchen' and make it more an entertaining room with 'Oh, by the way, where are the appliances?'"


Answer: Professional style remains popular, but has been softened. For example, the electric range pictured above has the stainless-steel finish and thick handles, but the handles are sleek and curved. It's a less industrial look for homeowners who prefer a more elegant, traditional design.

Many manufacturers are taking a similar approach to handles and other appliance fittings, including Jenn-Air. Its Euro-Style line offers similar performance to the Pro-Style line but has the more contoured styling.

Another trend to watch for: color in "showcase" or "featured" appliances, whether a stylish island hood, French range or undercounter wine chiller. Look for metallic bronzes, champagnes and purples; deep reds, blues and greens; and retro pastels and primaries.

Using cabinet panels to hide appliances continues to be popular in traditional and Old World kitchens; after all, no one had a dishwasher in 17th-century Siena. Concealing appliances isn't necessary in a modern or transitional kitchen. Besides, when you've spend as much on appliances as you have on cabinets, you don't necessarily want to hide them.